Whitianga - Sun 16th Jan 2011

To celebrate getting my full licence my wife and I decided to fly over to Whitianga today. The trip had two purposes really. The first was to take my wife up as my first passenger and the second was to visit Whitianga to take a look at the section we have recently purchased by the airfield. The section is runway facing and will allow us to build a hangar house which is within walking distance of Whitianga township and within walking distance of the main beach at Whitianga. Couldn't ask for a better setup. With luck we should be able to build within a couple of years and move to Whitianga. We will probably need to maintain an apartment in Auckland for work but eventually we will retire to Whitianga permanently. Awesome.

Spidertracks image of the track from Ardmore to Whitianga.

The flight from Ardmore to Whitianga is relatively short, it only takes about 25mins in a Cessna 152 if the weather is good. The track is east out of Ardmore, down the Clevedon valley and out over the Wairau river mouth AND across the Firth of Thames. Gaining height once clear of the Auckland Control Zone you pass over the Coromandel range and then drop down into Whitianga airfield.

JBL was our chariot for the day after JFY went u/s.

Delys and I headed out to Ardmore about 10 in the morning for our flight over to Whitianga. I initially did a preflight on Cessna 152 ZK-JFY but found the aircraft had a fuel leak in the engine bay so had to change to the ZK-JBL instead. After a quick refuel and preflight of this aircraft we were ready to go by about 11am.

The Warbirds Catalina lined up on the runway.

Taxiing out to the end of the runway we found the warbirds Catalina running through its pre-flight checks. We waited for her to finish her preflight and takeoff before we ventured out onto the runway. As she started to accelerate down the runway however the pilot called an abort for some reason and she ended up pulling up short and exiting the runway.

The above is a short video my wife put together of the flight over to Whitianga.

My wife photgrahing me photographing the section.

We arrived in Whitianga about 11:35 and taxied up to Bruce Turners place to visit for a cup of tea. We spent a nice hour and a bit chatting and then looking over our section before my wife and I headed back to Ardmore about 1pm. We were back in Ardmore by 1:30.

The view of runway and section at Whitianga.

Above is a composite picture of the runway and our section at Whitianga. It is not overly clear but you get the idea of the section location on the runway. The section is about a little over 800 square meters.